Local community organisations and businesses are one step closer to funding their next project thanks to the funding forums that were held in the Parkes Shire Library’s Coventry Room last Thursday. Two dozen people attended the grantwriting workshops facilitated by Parkes Shire Council’s Grants Officers Sally Chapman and Ellie O’Donoghue. The workshops were designed to give participants the skills to make their project submissions more likely to succeed. The attendees included representatives from local community groups as well as businesses and individuals who have ideas for community projects.
The forums opened with a brainstorming session to encourage participants to look for synergies between projects, and facilitate networking. The participants were told that one of the keys to successful submissions is to look for appropriate grants, but also broaden the scope and look outside-the-box; for example a youth arts project could qualify for grants that target either youth or arts.
Eligibility is vital for funding success, and community grants must demonstrate the need for the project and state its benefit to the local community. Crucially, community grants cannot benefit an individual or business, or be used to fund recurring expenses or debts. Applicants should indicate how the grant money will be spent, attaching quotes where possible.
The facilitators also urged the participants be aware of acquittal requirements. Keeping records and photographs make the final reporting process easier. Elysha Loiterton, Northparkes External Community Relations Advisor attended the afternoon session to share advice on applying for a Northparkes Community Investment Program, encouraging participants to take advantage of the $80,000 that is allocated for local community initiatives each year.